Family Dollar murder suspect arrested in Orlando - WFLA News Channel 8

Family Dollar murder suspect arrested in Orlando

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

An intense 7-day manhunt is over for the suspect wanted in the shooting death of a Tampa Family Dollar store manager.

"Demetrius Parks is in custody," announced Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy during a weekend press conference. "He is no longer a threat to our community."

7/15/2013 Related Story: Tampa police find car connected to Family Dollar murder

Police and the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force surprised the 23 year-old Parks as he road into Orlando on a Greyhound bus Saturday morning. They say he had been hiding out in Atlanta and was making his way back to Lakeland.

"As they boarded the bus, Parks jumped out an emergency exit window," McElroy said.

But there were police waiting for him there as well.

Investigators say Parks was robbing the Family Dollar store on the 4900 block of N 40th St. last Sunday when the store manager stepped in.

"He ran out to protect his co-worker and it cost him his life," McElroy said.

That manager was 49 year-old Horsley Shorter, Jr. Shorter had just retired from the U.S. Army after 26 years of service and came home to Tampa so he could take care of his elderly mother.

"I think Horsley Shorter led a good life and people were outraged to see someone take his life so senselessly," McElroy said. "It was certainly a ruthless crime in the true definition of being ruthless."

Investigators say community tips played a critical role in their investigation as billboard companies donated space to plaster Parks' photo across 30 signs in the area.

"I felt justice was done and they did a great job of capturing him; following him until the got him," said Betty Shorter, the victim's first cousin.

She said the last week has been nerve-racking as well as painful. The family is aware many have called Shorter a hero. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor called him a pillar of the community.

"I would say that too because he was trying to help his friend and I believe his military action kicked in and he did the best he could," Betty Shorter said.

7/14/2013 Related Story: Tampa Police investigate robbery homicide at Family Dollar store

Parks is in the Hillsborough County jail and is facing a number of charges including first degree murder, robbery of $300 or more but less than $20,000, carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He's no stranger to law enforcement. Police said he has been arrested for 37 felonies and 25 misdemeanors during his lifetime.

There was a $16,000 dollar reward the U.S. Marshals, Family Dollar and CrimeStoppers offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. McElroy said it was "good old fashioned police work" that led investigators to Atlanta and, therefore, it doesn't look like anyone is eligible for the reward at this time.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa daycare set to reopen after crash

    Tampa daycare set to reopen after crash

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-02 07:44:21 GMT
    A Tampa kindergarten and daycare center is set to reopen four days after a suspected drunk driver crashed through the wall into a classroom.
    A Tampa kindergarten and daycare center is set to reopen four days after a suspected drunk driver crashed through the wall into a classroom.
  • Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:36 AM EDT2014-09-02 07:36:06 GMT
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
  • Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:33:46 GMT
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen accused of killing, dismembering mother's body

    Teen accused of killing, dismembering mother's body

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:48:37 GMT
    Tyrese LandrumTyrese Landrum
    A Lee County teenager is behind bars, accused of killing his own mother and hiding her body parts around the home.
    A Lee County teenager is behind bars, accused of killing his own mother and hiding her body parts around the home.
  • Clueless swimmers have near-miss with shark off Florida beach

    Clueless swimmers have near-miss with shark off Florida beach

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:45:15 GMT
    YouTube/User Scott McCainYouTube/User Scott McCain
    Beach-goers in Destin, Florida had a near-miss with a hungry hammerhead shark.
    Beach-goers in Destin, Florida had a near-miss with a hungry hammerhead shark.
  • Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride

    Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:46 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:46:21 GMT
    Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride in Texas.Teens hurt after falling from carnival ride in Texas.
    Two teenagers were rushed to University Medical Center in serious condition, that according to emergency dispatchers, who said they fell more than 12 feet from a ride at Saint Anthony's Bazaar on Sunday night.It happened shortly past 10 p.m.Dispatchers said firefighters also requested a ladder to rescue somebody stranded on the ride. The Crimes Against Children unit is investigating. There was no immediate indication from police of why that unit is involved.
    Two teenagers were rushed to University Medical Center in serious condition, that according to emergency dispatchers, who said they fell more than 12 feet from a ride at Saint Anthony's Bazaar on Sunday night.It happened shortly past 10 p.m.Dispatchers said firefighters also requested a ladder to rescue somebody stranded on the ride. The Crimes Against Children unit is investigating. There was no immediate indication from police of why that unit is involved.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.